Letters 05/07/14

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Letting their voice be heard

    With all that is being said in the media today about public education and bullying, can you explain to me why we tolerate public officials using their position to be a bully?
    Mrs. Pollard has been quoted as saying that teachers are “crybabies” and now she feels she needs to ridicule the students of Liberty High Schools by saying that their letters that were written were on a “third grade level.” This is nothing short of an imbalance of power that Mrs. Pollard is doing to intentionally be harmful to our Liberty High students.
    As a parent of a former and rising Liberty High School student, I would like to clarify for Mrs. Pollard that children were not “forced” to write a letter to the Board of Supervisors because “teachers and administrators used kids to get a point across.” I know from personal experience that every kid that walks through the halls of Liberty High School have learned from Liberty High Schools faculty and staff that they have a voice and can appropriately advocate for what they think should occur within their school career, including the need for a new high school.
    What Mrs. Pollard either fails to believe, or refuses to take the time to educate herself to, is that the Liberty Zone has had to fight for every single thing that we have ever needed. That is why our students have the courage and the motivation to write letters to people in power, like the Board of Supervisors, regarding the new high school.
    And although Mrs. Pollard indicated that “teens are not taxpayers,” I would like to point out that, We, the parents of these teens are taxpayers and are very proud of our children for writing the letters. The teachers and administrators at Liberty High School have empowered our students by developing their confidence, motivation, and resilience necessary to take on issues such as these.
    The Board of Supervisors, especially Mrs. Pollard, must take note that our RED, WHITE, and BLUE Liberty family, including those “non-taxpaying teens” will continue to speak out about this issue and others like it to ensure that this zone is treated with equity. We will continue to make positive differences in our zone, be committed to excellence, and request creative innovative growth in our zone.
    But first and foremost, Liberty High School students will continue to be driven by their confidence that their voice is important and that they can make a difference by leading by example, something that Mrs. Pollard could learn from.

Kim Collins


    Once or twice each week my husband Ron leaves home to drive for Bedford Ride, a volunteer organization that provides non-emergency medical transportation for disabled, low income, and elderly people living in Bedford County. He’s driven folks to dialysis, cancer treatments, doctor appointments once, twice, sometimes three times a week for 11 years except when we were on vacation or he was ill, i.e. back surgery.
    Patients on dialysis must go to the dialysis center three times a week. Each treatment lasts three to four hours, so two drivers are often needed to transport one patient. Many clients with cancer require radiation treatments for 40 or more consecutive days. These two medical conditions are life-or-death situations. Other clients request transportation to have their eyes or hearing checked, to see their primary care physicians, or to pick up much needed prescriptions.
    So what would happen if there were no Bedford Ride? Family, friends or neighbors would need to help. But what if family members didn’t live in the area or worked, couldn’t afford to take off three days a week to shuttle a parent or sibling to dialysis? What if neighbors were unable or unwilling to help? Would a boss allow an employee to take off three hours a day (an hour to and from cancer treatment plus an hour there) to take a relative or neighbor for medical aid?
    If you are a compassionate person with some spare time on your hands, please consider volunteering for Bedford Ride, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with Central Virginia Area Agency on Aging (CVAAA). You don’t need to drive your own car because Bedford Ride provides the vehicle, gas and insurance. Bedford Ride encompasses all parts of Bedford County with vehicles located in the Town of Bedford, Big Island, Thaxton, Forest, Moneta and Huddleston.
    If you are willing to give a little to help a lot, call Linda Brake at 540-587-3215. And many thanks to my husband (who drives for the Huddleston and Moneta areas) and the other fine men and women who volunteer for Bedford Ride. I appreciate them and love that they care about others.

Sally Roseveare

Responding to inaccuracies

    Normally I don’t respond to other folks’ letters to the editor but the one by Susan Hughes published April 2 was so inaccurate that it needed questioning. 
    Genetically modified organisms, GMOs, are one of the new high tech tools that have made a tremendous advancement between man and starvation. They’ve eliminated the need for millions of tons of harsh pesticides that have been used since WWII. Not only are they responsible for preventing hunger, but are being used to prevent blindness in children who live primarily on a rice diet which is deficient in vitamin A. 
    For over 30 years I sprayed dangerous pesticides on crops and like the farmers, I was so glad when the GMOs came along to control weeds, insects, and diseases. The biggest advantage of Round-up Ready technology is the elimination of tillage which was filling our streams with valuable top soil while wasting precious diesel fuel and wearing out equipment. No other technology on the farm from Cyrus McCormick’s reaper until today has caught on as fast a the GMO technology. Hopefully, Monsanto or some other chemical company have another miracle ready to pull out of the hat since diseases, insects, and weeds always have and always will stay one step ahead of science.
    Ms. Hughes also needs to research the ingredients in agent orange. The selective herbicide 2,4-D was invented at the end of WWII and is still a safe and effective broad leaf weed control used on lawns, golf courses and athletic fields. Most causalities in Vietnam were caused by “hot lead,” not 2,4,5-T, agent orange, which was banned from use in the USA after Vietnam.
    Very few people realize how little time it would take to go from an obese nation to a hungry population. A highly contagious diarrhea virus is killing baby pigs causing a shortage of pork. Beef is scarce due to drought and competing against ethanol for feed.
    Dairy farmers have made less per hour than a greeter at Walmart for the last five years thanks to converting livestock feed into fuel, so milk cows are being slaughtered at record numbers. Fruit, nuts, and vegetables are drying up in California while Florida citrus is being attacked by disease.
    With the supermarkets competing for food, what will Ms. Hughes and the rest of us eat if a contagious disease hits the poultry industry which depends on GMO crops to feed their chickens and turkeys? Maybe she already knows how to use a garden hoe, a fly swatter, or how to shoot squirrels and rabbits with a sling shot since Obama has confiscated all the small caliber ammunition.

Richard H. Ruff

Three questions

    (1) If  a railroad box car was stuffed with one dollar bills, how long would the train be if all the box cars were filled with one dollar bills to equal one trillion dollars?
    (2) An airplane traveling at the speed of sound is towing one dollar bills in a line. The total of the string of one dollar bills adds up to one trillion. How long would the plane take to pass by you towing the last bill?
    (3) One dollar bills, fastened end to end, went from planet earth to the moon and back to earth. How many trips to the moon and back to earth it take for the dollars to add up to one trillion dollars?
    Answers: (1) 240 miles  (2) 15 years (3)  2 1/2
    Our government has no money. We, the people, work to earn money. The government taxes the people in order to pay for decisions made by the people for the people. That is what our founders made into law for us! Better check the government to see if they are spending without the consent of the people!

Walter Heydt
Encouragement for women

    In the greater Bedford area, what started as a tragedy has now become a blessing. Some may remember the Barrick family car crash of November 2006 that left daughter Jen in a six-week coma with a severe brain injury. And yet, even before she gradually came out of the coma, Jen was quoting Scripture, singing hymns, and even praising God! The family sees now that this wreck was God’s answer to her journal request of only two months earlier, to “take my life and use it for Your glory.”
    Although Jen’s physical and mental abilities are still being restored through therapy, her prayers and testimony are impacting and healing many. The family now has an expanding ministry and outreach beyond our borders, called Hope Out Loud Ministry (Hopeoutloud.com) that is located in Forest, Virginia. Two books have been published of Jen’s prayers, which were transcribed by her mother, Linda Barrick, along with the verses being used.  The jewelry Jen makes for therapy can also be seen on their website.
    I believe that many women could benefit from this inspiring story, so a planning committee is being organized to host Jen and Linda in the Bedford area. The theme is, Seeking the Courage to Be, and break-out sessions are anticipated.  Many volunteers in the community will be needed for the event.  It is hoped that women from clubs and organizations as well as churches will get involved.
    Two 28 minute videos, “The Miracle of Jen,” introduced by Joni Erickson Tada, have recently been released. To get started, a preview showing of the first DVD along with a planning session will be held at noon at the main Bedford Library Conference room Friday, May 9, for those who want to help.  A second meeting with the second DVD is scheduled at the library for Monday, May 19, also at noon.  Bring a lunch; drinks provided.
    What better way to encourage women today to be courageous in their own challenges than to hear Jen and Linda’s truly remarkable story! Those interested in helping should call Dorothy Ann Hubbs at 540-586-7320.

Dorothy Ann Hubbs